Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It was gonna be this..

So I was eagerly planning to write about all the music I've been finding lately.I hate you best of lists, but sometimes you attribute to a few new albums in my listening experience. Sidenote: I found a record store in Baltimore that reminds me of all the affordable vinly shops that I love in Detroit. Damn, someone got the price and selection right. El Suprimo!

Anyways, my plan was put to the side when I read this story. I've mentioned Detroitblogger John before. I believe he is a modern day historian for the Detroit area. I don't necessarily want to feel hopeful or angry when I read a story about the city. I don't need or want a hero to fly out of the pages(screen) to awaken my senses or rescue me in some way. I just want it to be real. I just want to read. I want to read a story about people in the city. Corktown, midtown, etc. are a small section of the city with lots of exciting promise. Great but, um, What is everyone else doing, living, seeing, working, not working, getting by? Perception of the city cannot be seen through the lenses of the art community. Development and the emergence of new neighborhoods and residents is great, but like the shiny developed areas lining Foxtown, it subsequently allows you to forget about the stretch of neglected neighborhoods and residents. The not so shiny. DetroitBlogger John doesn't forget, or at the very least, he doesn't want people to. He finds a good story in the everyday man or woman and I have to agree. I hope you read this.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some kind of Revolution(and Revelation)

This wasn't a quiet year.

People weren't passive, mother nature was rowdy, active and destructive, Music fans received a few more options and politics got..weird(er). Politicians easily blurred the lines between religion, morality and getting the job done(which, you know, they didn't).

But what stood out for me were the people. The Revolutions. The active participation in the middle east, greece, nyc etc. were a mindful and encouraging process to see unfold. It wasn't all pretty and the aftermath and future may not be ideal for some, but in the moments when the people reached their limits, they did something about it. I like focusing on that moment and not the details.

I think a lot of us felt a personal satisfaction witnessing a crowd of a few hundred grow to tens and hundreds of thousands. Meaning, we all have the desire to be heard, understood and respected. Even more, I think a small part(some bigger in others) wants to be active and say, "this shit ain't right" or "What can I do about this...." . Even if Tunisia or Syria have nothing to do with our day to day, it felt personal because it's a shared desire. They loudly reminded of us of our freedom and liberties that we kick back and take for granted at times

Seize the day. Stand on your desks and be heard. Yea, it's just a late 80s Robin Williams film(or 90s?). But maybe not to everyone.

I know I lived vicariously through those individuals. I admired their stamina, principles and determination. Until The Occupy movement began, I felt Americans would remain the apathetic and self serving country. I guess I enjoyed seeing how the world affected US, the most powerful nation in the world, to wake up and take hold and not the other way around.

We're active and loud in personal conversations(me especially) and blogs and social networking. But those are just whispers or light small talk over coffee with a buddy. It's just not the same and we can't deny that. We witnessed and are witnessing something great. So, I'm proud of this year.

I know those fading dark images in the background are buildings or homes, but the massive crowd seems never ending...A symbol of a never ending movement or a consistent new way of thinking and acting that will evolve for miles upon miles. I think the crowds will multiply for a long time.



On a yearly musical note (awww, i said note after music), The Marvelettes are some of my favorite singin' ladies. They were the original girl group at Motown and this release makes me a happy girl.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No, not the bag.

I spent most of my older teenage and college years living with my family in the mostly affluent suburb of Troy(my family is far from affluent..respectable wages and a hardworking, college educated immigrant middle class family). I don't particularly like Troy. I certainly don't hate it, but I do not prefer it. It's sterile, doesn't boast any creativity or life. Just an average and otherwise "safe" strip mall filled suburb and that's fine for some, but not for me. While I find it to be more diverse than other Metro Detroit suburbs, it's disheartening that that diversity is not spotlighted throughout the city. Hooters, burger king, burger king, cvs, burger king, walgreens, walgreens..uh, yea that's about it. Oh, there's a library that people wanted to close down.

I consider myself open-minded, and with age, surprisingly becoming more liberal . So I found it troubling that a public official representing my other hometown(first being sterling heights) spewed some venom. Fine, maybe not venom to all. Maybe just a silly and careless comment on Facebook to some. But guess what? YOU REPRESENT TROY. Sure, this was before she became mayor. Does it matter? Are we comfortable knowing she is 1. unintelligent enough to post hateful comments on a social media site and 2. That she believes and shares these sentiments. And Daniels is gonna "return her I heart NY bag because the queers can marry there now." Honey, I'm sure NY would be happy to take it back.

She represents Troy on a political level, but I was happy to read that a good percentage of Troy residents condemned her actions. And told her so.


Stewie speaks the truth.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I choke on your pretension.

It is safe to say that writing your personal opinion in your personal blog is not the same as writing a piece for an online publication. Take note, dear: pretension is not well received. It is also far from encouraging.

I'm talking about this.

***I have to say that I wrote this after reading an extremely long thread on facebook in regards to a conversation on The Craig Fahle show on WDET in Detroit. P.S. That Rabbi had some serious ignorant comments(yikes). If you get a chance, you should listen.

While I understand a fraction of his point (come to Detroit, it's cool and stuff!), bashing the burbs and making wide generalizations about attitudes and people specifically is plain ignorant. I've done this, I have. It is based mostly on my own experiences with people from the suburbs(and city), discussions, emails, comments etc. And sometimes(not always) I'm a judgemental jerk and I make harsh generalizations about people with different interests and lifestyles than me. But by no means should I write a freelance piece for the Huffington Post stating my sometimes narrow minded and misplaced anger and frustration towards the suburbs/city. I believe he had good intentions, but there was some serious "sitting on my throne" shit going on there.

Look, plenty of well minded people love the city in many ways and maybe they don't support it in the "cool" way this writer has so inappropriately stated. Dude, take a step back from your "hip place to be" list and realize that you may be creating a deeper rift in this ridiculous Us vs. You game. And trust me, you didn't attract new people to the city by this column. Wasn't that the point? Or was it just to wave the "we are better than you" flag? I guess I don't understand how the conversation has turned to who or what is an expert on Detroit..better yet, who loves Detroit more, who gets to be part of the almighty exclusive club while the rest of us point and make our final decision on your love and loyalty to the city? State your case here. Please.


The city has a sad and sordid racial past, let's have real discussions and MOVE ON. Generalizations and underhanded comments just aren't going to cut it. Don't generalize long time residents or weekend visitors, it's not going to get us anywhere. It's not going to bridge any gaps..and we need them filled.

I hate ignorant notions about Detroit, too. Yes, come experience it, EVERYONE. If that means going to Joe Louis Arena and Greektown Casino, so be it. It's not my favorite place to go and personally, I think you sell yourself short by not experiencing more of what the city has to offer.. but that's just me. If you want to experience it by living in Ferndale or Troy, but visiting, spending and loving it in your own way, so be it. Just remember to keep your mind and heart open. Don't dismiss it because of whatever your read or heard.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Heard and seen

I saw:

It's been an eventful few days. Mostly.. hopeful. I celebrated Thanksgiving away from my mother's delicious cooking, my dad's snoring and my even louder brother(all which i miss..especially my dad's ability to fall asleep at any given moment. literally). I made, in my opinion, a pretty damn good vegan thanksgiving dinner for some great guys and impressively drank many glasses of wine and whiskey without succumbing to a 33 year old hangover the next day.

We went to see The Muppets(so good) which made us nostalgic for the old episodes the following day. I'm glad we had a few on DVD. It's like SNL, but with puppets. SNL, but awesome. SNL with Eddie Murphy...you feel me. It operates in such a friendly space in the world. You forgive, you're accountable, you laugh, you lend a hand, you sing a song with Paul Simon, etc. But this is all done genuinely. There's really nothing forced about understanding the good, flawed and real nature of these characters.

P.S. I saw Like Crazy. It's all kinds of tiny emotional tortures. Initially sweet and optimistic, details seem to be the make or breaking point, which is very unromantic(but realistic all the same, right?). A part of me wanted them to give up altogether.

I would also like to feel less cynical.

I heard:

A little plug and love for a Baltimore local label. We listened to this while making thanksgiving lattes at work. Friends Records released a compilation of what seems like a pretty good lineup of Baltimore bands. There's a few winners, dance favorites and Baltimore staples. Check it out!

The cool kids seem to think this is fun or something..they are right! Cheers to the youth of Baltimore and their ability to embrace a good dance song. Does he sound like dracula light?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

One computer, two

I hope you are still out there in the web world. I'm computerless these days. Also, I seem to be the destroyer of all these electronic.. my backup laptop has also breathed its last. While I didn't do anything to break either of these, I may be cursed. Don't let me around your electronics, unless I ask nicely.

There's much to say. This Penn State scandal, or as a writer put so eloquently, Sex scandal infers that there was consensual sex involved which children can't consent to. Let's call it what it is. A child abuse/rape scandal. Let's not go to further because I'll say things that are not...tasteful(that doesn't usually affect my non-filtered sentiments) .

Read this.


I'll be back when I'm properly equipped with my new netbook.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Your mom is who?

I'm not sure why, but lately I've been trying to find documentaries about families. Families dealing with the past, possible reconciliations, small town guilt, individuality, etc. So I remembered Prodigal Sons.

I'm not sure if this life could have been written. This small town family from Montana was, well, not your stereotypical small town family. I guess in some ways, as young children, they embodied that stereotype. They had a loving father, creative sibling relationships, active in their small high school, etc. For the most part, a close knit and emotionally expressive family on the outside, but those factors were a reflection of youth and memorable photos. They became adults and..please see this. It's surprising and really well done, I loved it. It starts off a little slow but unravels in ways that initially make you wonder if it's a well crafted drama. It's not.





So this one might be a little difficult to see, but I feel compelled to watch it. The local independent video store doesn't have it yet(though it was released in 2007). It's the story of Allis and Charley. They were separated for several years because of work so they kept in touch via audio tapes and letters(all which Allis saved). These aren't love letters. They aren't even remotely pleasant, but it's their life. After the wife's death, she leaves this personal history behind, sealed with a message: Must Read After My Death. Her grandson unlocks this troubling world explaining a great deal about Allis, her children and who they have become as adults. It's not a new story, it's been told before: Artifacts and remnants of a horrible marriage discovered years later. But no matter how many times It's told, each story IS a different family with different outcomes and tragedies. To me, that's a timeless tale. I hope I find this soon.




Happy hibernating.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Classic(al)




I don't consider myself knowledgeable in regards to classical music. If it's horrible, I probably wouldn't know it..But this I can identify on first listen. It's an original classical composition by Armenian born composer, Gurdjieff redistributed by musician Levon Eskenian. It combines so many heartbreaking instruments-the oud, flute, etc. It's almost like a short travel through the Middle East. I'm glad I stumbled upon this.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Melancholy goodness

Bill Callahan AKA Smog. Loving him today. It's getting darker and quieter a little faster than I had anticipated. He seems fitting for what seems like the first actual fall day I've felt here in Baltimore. It was everything- Windy, a somewhat peeking sun, denim jacket, tomato basil soup at the cafe and a new membership at the neighborhood video store. The season is a combination of settling into a cozy nook in your mind and your home and a sense of ....despair? I'm not sure if that's the right word but there's almost a comfort in the anticipation of a quietly approaching winter depression. This city seems suited for early dark nights.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In the next room..

I have an extra computer(well, not technically mine), another record player that I'm presently enjoying the sounds of Fleetwood Mac too, more books...wait, hold on. There's two record players in here. What I'm trying to say is that I feel lucky today. Terribly grateful. Surrounded by the things(and guy) I love. Yea, they are just things, but these things make me feel good. Kept me happy and connected for the last few months. I'm glad I have a few extra of everything in case my computer dies. Oh, wait..

Feel this. Our house loves The Growlers. Come to Baltimore, won't you?


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Goodnight and good luck

I've been reading all these different "conversations" on Facebook in regards to the occupy wall street protests. For wherever your beliefs lie, I found it really disturbing that some people vehemently believe that we, Americans, are not entitled to anything. At all. Well, hold on, some people need the government's help. Don't be selfish! Banks are people too, they have kids to feed expensive meals too. God.

I read quotes, facts(so called), opinions. It grew. The crazy grew. What an unintelligent generalization that most protesters are lazy students who chose "bad" degrees and should now live with their choices. Broke, hopeless...that's the oucome we should be okay with? I guess don't pursue that public radio career, kids.

Are we to teach young people that their world should no longer be made up of dream fulfillment or interests? And what profession is so secure now that every young person will be encouraged to follow that path? And if they choose otherwise, well....

Make a mistake? Suffer the rest of your life. Get unexpectedly pregnant? No help from anyone(unless you need a billion dollar bailout, of course). Decide to work for a non-profit, low paying or social service job? Well, bad choice in trying to assist the public, we'll be cutting those services drastically. These situations can/do apply to people in different walks of life. Ultimately, does it really matter? If someone needs REAL assistance, should we turn them away under certain conditions? It should apply across the board, in my opinion.

The "suck it up" mentality shouldn't apply when a human being is about to lose their home and live on the street. Um, "suck it up" works to build strength on a junior varsity basketball team. You can't "brush off" losing your job, your home or your integrity.

I respect and understand taking responsibility for your actions. 100%. Yes, times are not easy, you have to do all you can. And more. But shit, if you do all that and nothing comes of it, then what? We are slowly living in a world of hopeless, helpless and disinterested zombies. They need to feed on something..

It just seems this growing mentality and backlash against the jobless has pushed us to lose all sense of human decency and compassion.


Okay, at least this is funny.

Monday, October 3, 2011

George

I love these rare and early photos of George Harrison. He's not conventionally handsome, but he has a complex face, right?

I'm not a huge Beatles fan. I don't seek out unseen live performances or rare photos of the band. But Harrison's solo projects have, in recent years, really grabbed me. It always felt like such a big disovery because he was never the standout member. Like the underdog made the most beautiful sounds that you weren't expecting. You wanted to root for him through every listen.

His new documentary,"George Harrison: Living In a Material World"(after his 1973 album), premieres on PBS tomorrow(Scorsese loves rock stars). I recently read that Harrison never wanted to be remembered. At all. Not as a musician, a husband, a lover of eastern religions...he didn't see the point. This makes the documentary even more interesting in my mind. Maybe we don't fully know who the quieter Beatle was.

It's a two part documentary. Long..pace yourselves, it's 3 1/2 hours. I'm excited to see it, when I download it :)


Always good.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Baltimore two cents, or three.




I'm on a quest lately to absorb as much information as possible about Coffee. The business, the culture, the product, etc. You see, I plan to own a little spot. Soon enough, meaning near future..I hope.

I'm excited to get a few tips from the cafes I work at. Mostly, what NOT to do. More importantly, my imagination gets to run wild in the quest of decor and taste. Homemade vs. store bought, organic and local vs. non, the cozy environment, the sounds...whatever it may be. I've created a small and tasty business in my mind.

I started work at this fun little spot between two neighborhoods in Baltimore. Hence the fusing of the name, Charmington's(Charles Village and Remington, get it?).It's a lone business in a mostly residential area. It's a somewhat struggling and gentrified location with yuppies, artsy types, students, long-time residents. I feel it represents the general theme of Baltimore, "We are trying, we are not quite there yet..but we are here." It's semi-optimistic, sometimes angry. My feeling about Baltimore is this: The way I feel about Detroit, its promise and potential, It comes from years of believing in something. Do I feel there's something special about Detroit? YES, absolutely. Would I feel that If I didn't grow up there? I'm not sure now. Does the adoration stem from a longtime love, A nourished love, an unconditional love? Maybe. That is how Baltimore is reflected back to me: Not always easy to love.

Young people are making it purposeful, enjoyable and using it as a wide open canvas. Long time residents seem to be shuffling by, sometimes barely living, feeling neglected. I seem to be focusing on the latter. And the latter IS a reality, a product of the city. At the end, I see the poverty, the struggle, the harmful and misplaced anger. I'm wondering with time if I will get it, " Ahhh, yes, Baltimore, you have that something." They have redeeming qualities, they do(I'm not trying to convince myself of that). But, you can't tell the story of a city like Baltimore without stating truths. Yes, they are trying to make it better, but don't put pretty little shades on. Don't make this city "the next brooklyn" because some late twenty-somethings opened a business. It's a steady ride, a work in progress. Allow it to be just THAT. It's totally okay, accept it. I applaud the journey to a better place to live. We see the effort and let's examine that effort years from now. A new story can hopefully be told then (this goes for you too, Detroit).

I don't want to shut my eyes to it and miss something great about this place. It's a regretful way of living. Maybe Charmington's will keep me alert. To remind me to appreciate my surroundings, for what they are and could be..sort of like, Detroit.

I do appreciate their coffee. Counter Culture, show me the way.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I like these.

Bottled up.

And this guy.



Alexandr Belozor paints on the bottom of the Black Sea near Yalta, during an attempt to create the largest underwater painting August 5, 2010. Belozor, 47, successfully created a 70 by 100 centimetres painting underwater while witnessed by a representative from Ukraine's national book of records. The record will be sent to the Guinness World Records for validation.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New York, New York

I'm lucky to have affordable travel to pretty much any major east coast city(9 bucks on megabus!) Can I just rave about them? It was quick and comfy with a sassy bus driver. Use them.

New York City. I haven't been since my early 20s and I was itching to go to The West Village. They stole my heart. I think because my reading choices lately have been focused on young artists/writers/radicals in 1960s New York, I had created an unfair and outdated image in my head. One that Greenwich Village couldn't live up to. 50 years later, I could faintly sense the bohemian lifestyle in antique shop owners, delicious local bakers and overheard conversations with struggling musicians. The pages I read didn't portray the same Village, but I did feel a sense of preservation with certain locals. I spent my time listening, drinking coffee, window shopping, record and book hunting and eating...Oh, I ate. New York is delicious. My feet are aching and could tell a few stories of my 10 hour walking expedition.

If you go to West Village, 'SNice had fantastic organic coffee and a full menu of homemade vegetarian delights. They cook in the basement, so the smells of roasted cauliflower and tahini hit me whenever they walked by(which was often). The aromas literally brought me into this place. You won't regret it.



La Bonbonniere..I adore you. I was craving casual brunch food and saw two handsome 30 somethings sipping on espresso and sharing a cigarette outside....sold. It was subtly cool and comfortable, not to mention affordable and unpretentious. The cooks and waiters spoke to me in Spanish(I really need to learn since everyone assumes I'm from Cuba, Puerto Rico or Mexico). I take it as a very nice compliment..all stunning cultures and people.
I got a vegetarian omelette with mexican style house potatoes and coffee.Mmmmmmmm More coffee. I was on a blissful coffee buzz at this point. Perfect people watching with outdoor seating. Nothing fancy or chic and slightly dingy. Precisely why I loved it. I looked it up when I got home, and it's a neighborhood favorite. I chose well.



I did feel anxious in certain parts of Manhattan. Times Square was a personal hell. I don't need McDonald's in neon red lights or gargantuan billboards and advertising slapping me at every step. It was overwhelmingly nauseous and I kept wanting to jump on the train to escape. Luckily, I didn't spend a lot of time in Midtown. It was leaving a bad taste in my mouth and I didn't want to view my time there as awful. I regret not going to Brooklyn. I was limited with time, so my next trip is all about them! I wish I had taken more photos. Or had the best photographer and companion in my dear friend Es.

I got on the megabus and headed back to Baltimore. It was quiet for the first time in two days. It was as if everyone, simultaneously, had realized relief at the same moment. I will miss you New York.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

James Baldwin




I don't have a very regular schedule(good for me), so my sleep patterns are wildly off. But today, I felt pressed to wake up before 7 a.m. To be fair, it wasn't just the book. I couldn't keep my eyes closed anymore. But, I would like to believe that James Baldwin had something to do with it. Especially since the book was the first thing I reached for. Giovanni's Room was so troubling and astoundingly beautiful. Really, I'm wondering how he has escaped me all these years. It's okay though, I have so much to look forward to.

I woke up and finished the last 25 pages quickly. I felt sad reading the last couple paragraphs. I knew it would soon be over and I felt there was so much left to tell. Their story was complex, slightly unfinished and you had to be accepting of it. Baldwin has a way of keeping you there, in those moments where you, the reader, is so involved you are lost without those characters. A sense of loss and fulfillment fused together...

It's after 8 a.m. I'm still thinking about them and their room in Paris.

One more thing. Since blogging is self indulgent(me, me, me), I will be plugging my newest music reviews here and there. I've started to contribute to Impose Magazine. Have a read!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni, I don't understand

Actually, I do. It's just...ugly.

I just peeked at their(Target) site for the first time since I've been reading about the website shutdown for the past 15 hours.

Someone bought this?

Girls, we have way better taste than this, right? The colors, the design, ugh. I had no idea it was this tacky. I've seen Missoni's clothing before and It wasn't quite this loud.

I'm gonna take a pass on this one.


Something NOT tacky from Northern Soul artist Donnie Elbert. Hey, sweet baby.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Park Treasures




I work across the street from the largest park in the state of Maryland. That's a made up fact. I have no idea if it's the largest park, but the mental image is astounding, isn't it? I will say it's pretty damn big and exceptionally beautiful.

I just realized how great it is this past weekend when they hold their monthly flea market! It's a massive and eccentric garage sale(sans garage) with close to 40 vendors.

I scored my man a 25 cent brass and copper buckle, a tiny wooden elephant(I'm attempting to build a small collection), Smokey Robinson and The Miracles early Tamla vinyl and this book. It's my bus ride read and If you think you know everything about Dylan, you don't. He was shy, sometimes too confident, romantic, stubborn, young and deeply in love for that moment. So far, it's a sweet peek into their first meeting and an exciting musical and idea bursting chapter in Greenwhich Village. I know I've mentioned this book before, but I just got my hands on it and I'm hoping it lives up to MY hype.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Alone music

When I'm home alone, I'm free to listen to every shitty 80s to early 90s song imaginable. It feels so good. There's no one here to explain it to. But if they are in the next room it just doesn't work the same. My dance routine just won't be as ..appreciated.

Pandora's Hall and Oates channel is guilty pleasure central. Listen and stay awhile.

I don't care if he's home(I do, he has a sweet face) but sorry. I wanna play Journey while I clean the room.

All day.



oh, steve perry.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stax Records

I've always been a big fan of everything Stax Records related. The Memphis label operated for a good 15 years before shutting its doors in 1975. It also shut the door on a significant time in soul music. A period that brought us Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, The Staple Singers..just to name a few.

They were the soul underdogs in many ways(Not to mention the Northern Soul that was brewing in England). Berry Gordy cornered the market with a more polished, aesthetically pleasing, radio friendly soul sound. The people agreed. But the people didn't always see what else was happening. That artists were and could be grittier. That the neat and highly successful Motown label had talent lurking and working in the background that just weren't be noticed passed Gordy's dollar sign dreams. What fit into his idea of the perfect radio hit. I guess it was basically a pre-cursor to what radio hits are measured against nowadays(MAIN DIFFERENCE: Motown artists(though polished) were extremely talented and had some of the best instrumentally talented backup musicians that music will know).

But Stax was here and Memphis had an army of voices that could not be denied. It was encouraging and exciting to see someone battle the biggest soul label.

Otis Redding would have turned 70 years old tomorrow. What would Otis be like now? I wonder. Still performing? Would there have been a time when people didn't love Otis Redding? It's weird to say I'm glad he never faded out because his potential was obviously endless. But a part of me is content that we are left with such a powerful legacy to admire. Even if it was short lived.

In the spirit of Stax Records and Otis Redding


And my new(ish)favorite Stax Tune. Pops did it right.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So, When?

It's funny when we ask ourselves that. When is my life going to be different, more opportunities, more creative, etc? As if, someone comes knocking on your door to deliver the "your life is about to change" package. It's a lazy way to consider life and its possibilities and joys. I fall victim to this. Hard and loudly. I wait for freelance writing opportunities, when truthfully, I haven't done my part.

This blog kicks your ass.

She's right about my generation. We are dreamers with our eyes closed, living in the clouds above. We denounce "the man" but have a hard time working around him. We are slightly hypocritical about our values and beliefs. We are completely unsatisfied (as my mother would say) and somewhat lacking direction. BUT my generation is also creative and full of new and cutting edge ideas and we romanticize life In It's endearing simple steps. We just need to put all these things and ideas in a place. They don't have to fit perfectly, but It has to work for us.

And then I thought about him. Kris Kristofferson's 1970 debut album is packed with genius. Lyrics that knock you back.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moving on?

Listen. I'm not rich. I appreciate cute and affordable clothing like any other gal, but I've read too many articles and blogs and seen too many "behind the scenes" clips. Forever 21, something ain't right.

Not to mention, the material sucks ( I know, I get what I pay for). But I'm tired of paying for shitty clothing, you know? I'm gonna (attempt) to subscribe to a better fit, better material, and maybe something a little more long lasting. And maybe something the 14 year old girl walking down the street isn't wearing.

I'm not trying to change your mind, by any means. I can't quit cold turkey If I tried.

They aren't the first and only corporation to exploit workers and certainly not the last.

But I can read this.



Saturday, September 3, 2011

More new.

I've been trying to find new songs, artists, books, publications, etc. Films have mostly been the new lately. Here are a few I've seen that I'd definitely recommend.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

First of all, Joan Rivers is typically never someone I would envision desiring to explore. She's obnoxious, tacky, frightening, obsessed with the shallow hollywood world..But you know what? Those characteristics kind of appealed to me too. I completely forgot how genuinely funny she is and how she truly is an iconic comedienne. I totally recommend this. It was heartbreaking, truthful, and hilarious. An extraordinary woman.




Another Year

This British film moves at a pretty slow pace. You are constantly waiting for something to happen. As if, something NEEDS to happen. The truth is, nothing explosive needs to happen. It's the story of their life, relationship and the people who share their life-their beautiful and somewhat ordinary life. Mike Leigh seems to nail the everyday in the most casual and human way. And that's what you'll enjoy about this film.




White Lightning


Jesco White is ..scary. The hillbilly, crude talking, mountain dancing West Virginian is an endless amount of shock and entertainment. This film is based loosely on events in his upbringing, boozing and maniacal life. I now understand the cult following in regards to this guy. It was an interesting(sometimes sad) and frightening peek into the life of a crazed Appalachian dancer who just wanted to make his daddy proud. Man, them hillbillies scare me.


http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

Everlasting Moments

God, I loved this. I loved the photos she created, how she came to create them and the world it slowly shaped around her. So many tender images that are still vivid in my mind weeks after seeing it. I don't want to say any more. Please see this, and tell me after.



Lastly, I started watching this. I really want to embrace them. I've tried. I really have. There's something about Wilco that bothers me. Actually, there's something about Jeff Tweedy that bothers me. Is he arrogant? dull? hyped up? He sure as hell pukes a lot..

I actually really love watching the musical process take place. A hectic but sometimes serene production studio where a stunning phenomenon unfolds. Music is made. I dig all of that. But, I'm not feeling that yet. I'm halfway through, to be fair to the documentary. I'm not sure I'll make it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little People.




Diane Arbus is new to me in the sense that I never really looked at her photography. Truthfully, the most I knew about her pertains to the movie Fur, based on her life.

She was known as the freak photographer. Her subjects were transvestites, circus participants, little people,the unconventional, etc. Freaks only by society standards, of course. Many thought her work was "artistically dangerous" and sometimes squeamish.

She committed suicide in her mid 40s and a newly released book explores Arbus and her many complexities- Her subject choices, depression and ultimate suicide.

I was really at awe when I visited her website. Remarkable black and white photos. The kind of photographs that take you a few minutes to process. Subjects that are typically shunned by society or never given a place in the spotlight share a small moment.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Un-Crafty.

If you know me, you know I'm not super crafty. I completely appreciate it, but I'm not coming up with new crafts everyday. I can, however, make you sweet lil' earrings, a killer mix with a handmade cd sleeve and i'll send you a homemade card. That's the extent. I'm cool with that.

But we need coasters. We have a cute vintage coffee table that loves to be stained by everything that is casually placed on it. I want to throw it out my third story window, but he loves it, and I've grown attached to it too.

I'm making coasters y'all! Maybe I'll snap a pic and show you. I have some old rolling stones and vintage books I'm gonna tear up and use as photos. I'll be crafty for the day.

Also, let's hear something new, okay? Baltimore Duo, White Life, just played in Detroit and they are...fun! I like the video more than the tune, but I'm kinda digging this poppy, new wave-y, throwback sound. Plus, I always wanna dance into my kitchen and really appreciate my delicious bowl of cereal.

New song,author, publication, artist. Everyday.






Sunday, August 28, 2011

rain rain.

I'm a little disappointed. Hurricane Irene was more like a heavy/windy rainstorm minus the destruction and drama. Not that I wished for damaged cars and flooded streets, but we were definitely duped here in Baltimore. I'm glad I don't have T.V. to confuse me during these times. The radio and internet will do just fine. Plus, most of the coverage I received was through texts from loved ones(thanks guys!).

The hibernation gave me a chance to listen to a lot of new music and re-visit the old. Sometimes it was blues and gospel, other times female country vocalists. I just finished watching Coal Miner's Daughter(The Loretta Lynn Story) so I was feelin' a little county. Man, Sissy Spacek was nearly perfect as Loretta Lynn. I heard she did most of the singing herself which is really impressive. Great biopic. And Levon Helm doesn't do the whole "singers who overact" routine.. It was easy and convincing.

This scene depicts Loretta Lynn's first time performing in public, long before she became famous.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Tropical Storm

That's what Baltimore is getting. A beautiful storm.

I will finish watching No Direction Home, drink a little whiskey and try to grab a few shots of the storm for you guys.

Loving this live version from 1976.



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pink Windows.






I don't like to fly. I'm consumed with some bizarre idea that the wing has a crack that everyone seemed to miss, but I can plainly see it from my window seat.

I also can't hear for days after.

On the way to Detroit,I sat next to this woman that most people would recognize. Not recognizable as in, "I sat next to Claire Danes" but typical, common. She had dusty blonde hair. A short bob with the front few strands deliberately tucked behind her small ears on both sides. She seemed sensible and prepared with her white cardigan neatly thrown across her lap. The weather might be cold that day...

She initially made me feel anxious for some reason. Too neat, too "bland", too stiff. She kept looking over at me. She smiled several times. It put me at ease after the third or fourth time. She seemed to mean it. Like those people who believe," If you smile at someone, the whole world smiles after.." She was that person.

As the plane was ready to take off, she raised her arm, closed her eyes and made the sign of the cross. I watched her for a few minutes. It made me feel safe. If God was on her side, he would probably watch out for me too. I mean, for proximity reasons If anything. I turned on my Ipod to listen to a story about a young man whose memory was erased after taking a malaria medication in India. He awoke, an uncertain amount of time later in an airport without any idea who he was. His name. His location. His girlfriend....gone. Reality was completely unknown.


I kept peeking at her laptop, as if there was nowhere else to look while we were flying. Williams Sonoma. J. Crew. Message from Hadson, just checking in. She smiled at me, not bothered that she obviously caught me peeking at her emails. My ipod kept playing while she shut her computer to watch Glee on the small t.v. set.


I watched her. At this point, I quit being subtle. I basically perched my chin on my hand and closely stared at her. I convinced myself that she liked that someone was paying attention to her. She wasn't all that interesting, but I couldn't stop.

She smiled at the T.V.

I turned my head to the window and watched the plane inch for the runway. My story ended. He was starting all over.

I was home, again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

where my music's playin'..

I've been home for awhile so I've neglected my blog in the last week. I'll be back soon enough.

I miss my home. I miss him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's a book thing.


Baltimore, I will give it to you. You have shown me the goods. The goods come in the form of affordable books mixed in with a vinyl lover's dream.

Normal's books and music is Baltimore's finest way to spend an afternoon. Excellent selection of books and classic to rare vinyl. Really, it's a small wish come true for this lady. Even the block it resides on makes me feel...right. Across the street is a quiet afternoon tea shop, a cozy caribbean restaurant and the houses are small, maybe even tiny. small porches..maybe small people? It's all so fairy tale like.

And then,the skater dude from Canton told me about THIS. It's organized. It's overflowing with books about mathematics, u.s. history, poetry, art etc. Turn the corner, more. Books on gardening, religious cults, women's rights, oh my. It's free! Just sign in, write down how many books you took and ..see you next weekend, 9a-6pm.

Click on that link. The backstory on book thing pushed me out the door a little faster.

A couple finds:







Sunday, August 14, 2011

My rainy day





I spent my entire Saturday at work. For most this would qualify as an awful day, but I have to say, I kinda enjoyed the quiet time for the last few hours. I'm lucky enough to be able to listen to what I want while working. I settled on the local NPR station and man, I owe them some real support(monetary wise, that is). They got me through the long and rainy day. I always feel more informed, enlightened and oddly calm(even when hearing Michelle Bachman boast about social conservatives). It requires a good deal of attention and listening(which I'm not always good at), so for awhile I'm at ease with my thoughts. Even if it's background noise, I always pick up something that creates a sense of knowing. I accomplished..I listened. It's a small feat, but an uphill battle at times.

As the last hour slowly passed, he saved me. I needed a reaction from the awkward customer in the corner, I was desperate for some reason. I needed acknowledgment for that moment. He laughed, hard. I closed up for the night. It was a good rainy day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oops.

I meant to post my red coconut curry recipe that I mentioned the other day :

2 tablespoons red curry paste (I used thai kitchen)
1 package extra firm tofu (i sauteed mine for a while in olive oil to give it more of a cripy texture)
Assorted vegetables( I used 1 cup peas, 1 cup potatoes)
1 onion coarsely chopped
1 sweet or bell pepper (sweet is better)
3 cloves of garlic ( the more the better for me)
1/2 to 3/4 cup veggie broth
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 heaping tablespoons of basil (if you have sweet thai basil, even better..this is very important!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of fresh lime
teaspoon of siracha
a little cayenne at the end..

I served this with brown rice and we were in a happy thai place.

P.S. I basically changed up a recipe I found online, so I can't take FULL credit. I did, however, add quite a bit.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Thai.

I know it's the second post of the day, but i forgot to mention this earlier.


We've been really disappointed in Baltimore's thai restaurants. We've tried three that I can think of and honestly, it's barely mediocre. We went to a place that was recommended a mile or so from our house. Hipster kid meets traditional thai chef. It was an unusual and sweet pairing, but an unsuccessful one. Cute hand written menus, but that shit wasn't right.

Okay, one place was good. ONE. It cost 15 bucks an entree and It made me yearn for 6 dollar Thai in Ferndale. We took matters into our own hands...

I've always had trouble getting red coconut curry to taste right. It was always lacking that hint of sweetness. I used a simple method : sugar. I just added a teaspoon and a ton of basil and it worked! Also, I never have sweet thai basil on hand, so I used basic dry basil (a heaping tablespoon) and it worked perfect!

We found our own little Thai restaurant.

I'll post the recipe tomorrow.

Get up on the inside.


Image courtesy of metro times


Journalist and blogger, Detroitblogger John, finds the best crop of people in the city of Detroit . The working man, the musician, the janitor, the teacher, etc. and tells their story. No shiny titles, just truth. A real human story. I admire him.

Yea, this guy may have lived his life on self help-y phrases, but the story is really warming. And his hair is fly!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

listen to this.





One of my all time favorite public radio programs Is "On The Media". It's produced through WNYC In..NYC. Luckily, every weekend on my way home from work, I get to hear a decent chunk of the program on Baltimore's public station WYPR.

Why am I telling you this? Because this afternoon they discussed something that I've been thinking about a lot lately, the internet and it's toll on humans. I've been spending the majority of my time online the last couple months. For me, It's a real source of entertainment and companionship. It feels weird admitting that, but for now, It's the truth. I have all the shows I love at my fingertips, radio shows I can listen to at any time, job hunting, recipe searching, music downloading, writing and blogging, etc. That's MY experience with the internet and I consider It MOSTLY positive.

But the debate is clear: Is it a positive source of education and entertainment? Are we exposing ourselves to new ideas, gaining intelligence and really connecting or just becoming isolated, inhumane and just plain dumb(er)?

On The Media explores this question on a repeat show that originally aired in February of 2011.

Click on this week's show (August 5, 2011)

What do you think?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Don't you see.





Numero Group released this track on one of their many soul compilations. I totally dig the obscurity surrounding their artists, but I wish I knew just a little more about Shirley Ann Lee

Here's what we do know. Nice to see her connection to Detroit, even if it is Ecorse.

Love this!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ladies of Soul.





Ooooh, check out the Ruth Brown track. Her man was cringing and crumbling. Take that!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Conga!



As I mentioned to my friend Jenny this morning, two elderly men in the past year have told me about their love for.. Gloria Estefan? I really just thought it was the kind and sweet old man from my former cafe(shout out to Andy!), but no, i was very mistaken. Another Gloria fan encounter today.

Some cuban jazz playing over the speakers:

Him: "This reminds me of that Gloria Estefan from Miami. I love her"

Me: "Was she really from Miami"

Him: "I'm not sure but her group is"

It's the damn miami sound machine. Oh,that rhythm. It gets in your soul.The soul of senior citizens far and wide...well, and this guy.

P.S. I love/hate made up "facts". The elderly have a free and whimsical pass but the rest of us better check before stating where Miss Estefan is from. I say it's Cuba..

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arnabeet.





I miss many things about Detroit. My dear friends and family is without a doubt first on that list. But, god, I miss the restaurants. Detroiters, be thankful for your middle eastern community because there is some supreme lebanese cuisine happening. Shwarma and falafel just doesn't cut it out here ( sorry, baltimore).

But, the best middle eastern food is at my mama's house. I'm biased, sure, but my mom makes a mean stuffed cabbage and bell pepper dish (ask a vegan). She makes a basic green pea tomato dinner seem...spectacular.

So tonight, I made a comforting homemade dish with thoughts of my mom. Arnabeet ba-al outa or tomatem, translates to Cauliflower with tomatoes. Easy! I've always thought the best dishes have just a few simple ingredients(bruschetta, a simple bean and corn salad,etc) and Egyptian cuisine definitely embodies that theory.

All you need is a can of tomato sauce, one head of cauliflower, one large onion, 2 big cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper. If you wanna spice it up a little more, you can always add a bit of cumin but honestly, it's not necessary (thought we love cumin!). Saute' those veggies in some butter or margarine, add the tomato sauce and finally the cauliflower florets. This is basically how most Egyptian vegetable dishes are prepared(try spinach). Simple ingredients go a long way in our world! This is similar to the indian dish aloo gobi, minus the potatoes.

P.S. These tomato based vegetable dishes are usually paired with rice or the ever present pita bread (it's pretty much a utensil, use them hands kids).

eat up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hitting The Road.


Not exactly. But soon. I've had a cross country trip planned in my head for many years now. Mainly, I've had the urge and desire to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico. If this trip takes me to any other place, even better. But I have a pull towards New Mexico and one day, no bullshit, I'll be there.

Yes, that will be the story. Highway strangers, RV breakdowns, mountains, vibrant reds and oranges, diners....Shit, this just sounds like the life of a trucker.

If you see one of these on a highway bound for New Mexico(in the next few years), make sure to wave hello.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Soul.

I heard this song months ago and thought it was a new project from Amy Winehouse. I remember thinking, when I get home I have to look it up to double check. But then, I get home and I close my eyes real tight to remember the lyrics so I can google them and...blank! I hate that.

I eventually found it and it was Adele. Call this a guilty pleasure, lapse in taste, whatever..I really dig it.

God, I loved Back to Black. Literally, every track, back and forth a million times. It was an exciting return to soul. Depth, hip shaking and heartbreak simultaneously. Goodbye to a great talent.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Corn.

I recognized my age today. I don't know If I feel comforted by this, or bothered that I couldn't appreciate it the freedom and musical escapade in an outdoor festival. I viewed photos from this year's Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. I read of girls eating corn on the cob from the muddy, booze infested water that several sweaty, shoeless 20 somethings easily sloshed around in.. for days. I couldn't find the appeal. I love live music. Really, even If the music isn't that great, I find myself feeling like at the minimum, I went out and made an attempt at something "artful". I consider myself someone who appreciates and respects the bohemian lifestyle, but corn just doesn't taste right after some dude stepped in it, you feel me?

I really just have beef with these events because I'm too short to see shit. Disregard the rant.

Here's a couple artists(courtesy of pitchfork.com) that i would have braved the heat for. P.S. I'm starting to really like Philadelphia's Kurt Vile. It's an easy listen.


Kurt Vile

Fleet Foxes

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a week of this.




I haven't blogged in a week. I have no legitimate excuse except my soul has been taken over by instant Netflix(heat go away, so i can get some fresh air!!), the occasional book browsing and coffee shop stops, bouts of writing, and books by Anthony Bourdain (I'm captivated by his crudeness). I DO work, sometimes.

I'm sure I've mentioned my love for NPR's tiny desk concerts, haven't I? They are, exactly what they imply- An unplugged, intimate concert in NPR's main music office. You can hear the 20 enthusiastic claps and shuffling around in the background after each song ends. It makes me feel closer to the performance as in, we are the lucky few to be privy to such an event.

They've featured Wye Oak, Damien Jurado, Omara Portuondo, etc. I enjoy the hearty mix of talent that swings through there.

Here's famous gospel singers, The Blind Boys of Alabama! I love that you can tell the audience is enjoying every minute of it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

stories. short ones.


I have a short attention span. While i love novels, I'm not patient enough to sit still and focus on a long reading task..I do need to fix that. There's been a few novels that were compelling enough that I succeeded, but truthfully, that list is not long.

But I DO love short stories. The length, the timeline, the sharpness- it's like a mini adventure. Plus, I think there's a real challenge about writing a good short story..don't you think?

I don't like Chile's Roberto Bolano, I love him. I love that it's been difficult to put it down for a second. This has my full summer reading endorsement(A friend reminded me of him today, always give credit..)

The Wiki page for more information.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

to the middle east.

When moving to Baltimore, I remembered I had a large shoebox filled with family photos. My favorites, by far, were the early photos of my parents from the late 50s on. Style, sophistication, genuine moments..who were these people?? Let's keep it real, those elements don't exist so much in their world anymore. And that's fine, but it's comforting to look back and know that life was a little more rich and exciting for them. At least the photos tell that story. On that note, I've been really interested in finding middle eastern inspired lithographs, landscape photos, early photos of life and work, etc.

I found this!



King Farouk and Queen Farida, former egyptian royalty





Umm Kalthum (1898-1975)

Friday, July 1, 2011

something old, something new.

I typically search for old music, older music- a new door i haven't opened yet. That thought, "why haven't i heard this before?"

It's a door that leads to a room filled with an interesting link from Jerry Lewis to Johnny Cash to hopefully a NEW band that embodies that musical spirit and talent. And that's the real point of all this. I loved Ray Charles first, Otis Redding came after and James Carr followed, and so on..the musical link of discovery. At times, that link ends as the chain moves on to something modern for me. The difficulty in finding new and inspiring music usually takes the wrong turn at an indie-folk band that just doesn't quite do it. But sometimes, you are surprised. With Madeline, I stumbled upon her while perusing the web for a fairport convention song a friend had mentioned in an email. A nod to Sandy Denny's beautiful singing voice came the comparison to Madeline. It's quite lovely. tender, even.

I'll give it a try. Maybe you will too.



MADELINE // BAD MOON from SLOW RECORDS STUDIOS on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

huh?




food terrorism?

how and why is this illegal? poor choice of words and poor intent, mayor.

p.s. i didn't realize amy goodman contributed to the guardian. she rules.

I visited the Enoch Pratt Library here in Baltimore yesterday afternoon. They have an ongoing exhibition dedicated to the History of Baltimore Jazz. Tons of dailies, clippings and photos from Cab Calloway to Hattie McDaniel. The photo above is just a small taste of what i saw (i am NO photographer, this ain't that great..appreciate nonetheless!) The Sphinx Club was the first African American owned jazz club in the city of Baltimore.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

changes.

hey all.

i'm making some design changes to the blog so it may be acting up for a day or so..try your best to survive :)


mi.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"If you're brown, stick around"

One of my personal favorites and finest early blues musicians. Big Bill Broonzy was a shifting storyteller and brutally honest. He wasn't traditional in the, well, traditional blues sense. Folk and blues became his signature combination. NPR tells The Big Bill Broonzy story.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Muddy Waters & Sonny Boy Williamson II



I love it. Beginning to end. Muddy and Sonny are a phenomenal combination. The harmonica has always been so honest and simply beautiful. Muddy is mesmerizing..every twitch, head shake, hand clapping move is just plain slick. Muddy is the man! This is one of my all time favorite finds on youtube. Long live the blues.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Take me to Spain.

How many real reasons do you need to go to Barcelona? I've been talking about taking a trip to Spain for so many years, that now it just seems like alot of talk and no movement at this point. This gave the idea, the fantasy, a real push to the front of my mind again. Jesus, Javier Bardem is inspiration enough.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clarence Clemons, 1942-2011

What a stage presence and talent. I remember the first time I saw "Dancing in the dark" and completely fell in love with the saxophone and the big man behind it. Rest peacefully, Clarence Clemons.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Uncle Tupelo - Moonshiner

It's been an alt-country couple of weeks. Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, etc. The summation of my mood lately. enjoy..


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mahmoud Ahmed- Aynotche Terab

So, we've already hit a couple record stores here in Baltimore. Can I just say my initial observation in any large city I go to is, DAMN, Detroit has some reasonably and appropriately priced vinyl! I did not see this with my own eyes, but $20 for used CCR is OVERPRICED(my man witnessed this). God, I miss you Hello and Peoples Records! However, True Vine Records (located in the Hampden neighborhood), had an exceptional international collection. I keep a keen eye out for international vinyl..Middle Eastern music holds a special place in my soul so True Vine may be the spot to fork over my dough (that i don't presently have, but soon enough will). I stumbled upon one of my favorite Ethiopian artists, Mahmoud Ahmed, while cautiously browsing. 23 dollars. When I feel the spending urge pulse through my veins, i will have it.

p.s. A metal fan smiled yesterday afternoon. A difficult to find record was found in the dollar bin. It's now in our very, very large collection.





Monday, June 13, 2011

guilty and good.

I'm not here to make you feel bad. Don't hate me, i dig clothes and finding killer deals and all, but when i read about the fashion industry..yikes.

tastier and less guilty news...


I don't usually add recipes, but dill everything! seriously, it's a fantastic spice that allows you to cut back on salt because of it's strong flavor. And now, i guess it's great on hummus too. i'm gonna try this soon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chris Bathgate - Serpentine (Official Promo Video)



Some of you may know Chris Bathgate. He's a singer/songwriter from Ann Arbor who I saw play at the Lager House two years ago. Rich, mildly sorrowful tone to his voice. It brings me comfort now that I'm far from home. Michigan artists have found a new and safe place in my heart.

I thought of him the other day while driving to Baltimore.

I was surprised to see a couple songs available for a free download at Starbucks (yuck, roadtrip = no options). I dislike that shitty establishment with their piss poor coffee, but I can get behind supporting a local musician like Bathgate. Here's a promo video from his first album, A Cork Tale Wake.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

melt with you.




I haven't disappeared. Just moved. To a very hot and steamy location on the eastcoast. Beautiful neighborhood in Baltimore, but dammit, it's too hot. I'm moving slowly, with a jug of water..I'll be back.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gil Scott- Heron

Another great artist is gone.

I liked this piece from The New Yorker. It rightfully recognizes his power, presence and passion for spoken word and music.

A few days late, but here's one for Gil. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

call me swag.

You know who you are calling Swag now? Oh, you didn't get your TMZ tweet? Diddy. Wait- i mean swag, i mean puffy, i mean, uhhhh i can't make up my mind! Man, His ego has become so inflated he feels he has a free pass to happily announce this bullshit at every media opportunity and so called fans are just indulging in this self obsessed garbage. Eat it up kids, next week will be a whole new world. And a whole new vodka.

Recently I read about the most expensive photographs in the world, with the priciest being a Cindy Sherman photo that was sold for over 3 million dollars. What would you pay an exuberant amount for? I mean, within our own "normal" money scale. Coincidentally, I saw this earlier today. Maybe my newfound love for Nick Cave has been leading me to this purchase? I kid, but i do dig that poster.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh, Fozzie.

Reading this made me too happy today.. A feature film about The Muppets! With an Apatow cast to boot. P.S. For completely shallow reasons I will see this mostly for my love of the Muppets but partially for my adoration for Jason Segel. dreamy...

A trailer is included in that article, so don't get too excited and forget to scroll down.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Want You - Bob Dylan



"She is good to me and there's nothing she doesn't see..."

Happy day, Bob! Thanks for the some of the best tunes these ears have heard.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ebo Taylor - Love and Death (Original 70s Version)







Ebo Taylor pumps rhythmic beats into your heart and mind. He's a multi-instrumentalist, composer and rightfully beloved in his homeland of Ghana and afrobeat circles.


wanna know more? It's a review of "Love and Death" released late in 2010. some highlife oldies and new production that will leave you digging around for more!

p.s. sorry about the chiming d.j. At least it's the original track!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

get on the bus.

So Freedom Riders finally premiered on PBS last night. If you didn't get a chance to see it, I highly suggest it. The Candid interviews with former riders and bigoted Alabama governor John Patterson, shed a bright light on racial tensions in the 60s(plus a suprising piece of information about Dr. King's position). It's an interesting look at what it meant to be an American when many people barely considered you human. Kicked, beaten and bruised-they knew retaliation was beyond raising a fist and that America would not be changed by "violence breeding violence". With integrity and self respect, the riders knew it was their responsibility to keep riding and their right to dwell, eat and work with anyone regardless of race was inevitable. This responsibility was one that one white rider put, "some people don't take as serious."

I chatted about the documentary with an old friend at the cafe today. Elderly man with a beating heart of gold. He told me he was 21 at the time(1961) of the freedom rides. Tunnel vision, as he put it.. solidly focused on friendships, women, nothing more. He was 21 after all. He did remember waiting at a bus station when an older gentleman told a crew of young travelers that they were walking into a fire. The ride was a suicidal journey. They would likely be hurt and it would be more than they could handle. He said they nodded and said, "so let's go."

Friday, May 13, 2011

this and that.




yup, this show just got better! I usually dislike how actors need to be musicians, musicians need to be writers, wrestlers need to be actors, etc... Sometimes, we are just gifted with one talent-take that talent and go with it, you don't have to dip into every industry bowl. HOWEVER, mos def actually is multi-talented. Remember this? I was pleasantly surprised.

Now we just need a new Blackstar album and all will be good. I miss hip-hop.

Friday, May 6, 2011

For the love of PBS

I've mentioned my love for documentaries before, right? Here's a PBS one I just stumbled on that i'm pretty excited to see. Since my television stations are limited to local stations, I've found an even deeper love and attachment to public television. That and the local soul train show on WADL :)

Check your local listings friends!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the bare trees.

After reading about death celebrations and our sinking economy, i found this. I shall always find something beautiful and calming to read after the news.

Who's child is this? I like him. His images are serene and plain lovely.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

road trip..to the bronx.

So the University that shunned her because of race awarded her an honorary degree and now her work is being celebrated at the Bronx museum. Sweet redemption for 96 year old artist Elizabeth Catlett. Her political and social activism coupled with her extraordinary artwork made Miss Catlett a defining figure of the 1960s. Check out the slideshow on the left hand side.


Monday, April 25, 2011

canned rain.






I've never really been a fan of Canned Heat. Not because I don't prefer them, but because I unintentionally skipped over them. But today I picked up a collaborative album they did with none other than John Lee Hooker called Hooker n' Heat. Oh man! It's bluesy, guitar driven, signature hooker vocals, etc..The outtakes are included between tracks which I really enjoyed. I've never been into the over produced sound of certain albums, same why I'm not into polished pieces on NPR, for example (this was my favorite npr show for awhile. total guerrilla radio). "Mistakes" are a part of that process, so their inclusion on albums is a natural and organic experience. Did i mention i got this for 50 cents? Just wanted to brag about that for a second.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

See this.





I'm no expert on the history of gospel music. I do wish I was more knowledgeable about the influential artists of that genre, it's conception, impact, etc. I will eventually start digging into it, but for now, I'll rejoice and shout.

Speaking of documentaries, The new Lee 'Scratch' Perry documentary, The Upsetter: the life and music of Lee Perry was fantastic. Great raw and rare footage of one of the most celebrated and innovative musical minds we will know. Calling him eccentric would be mostly accurate, but it's refreshing to see someone live by their own personal and social code. He's constantly entertaining and seems to have found comfort and happiness after a long ride in the music business. See it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Safe Inside The Day / Baby Dee

This song really breaks me, I love every piece of it. She will be performing in Detroit at Cliff Bell's(some of the best acoustics in the city) in May. I wish you all could be here! But wherever you are, and you happen to see Baby Dee will be in your neck of the woods, jump on it. You won't regret it. Thankfully for us Detroiters, she will be accompanied by these gentlemen.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

vinyl support

So it's the day after Record Store Day and i'm still beaming about my finds! I found alot of classic records I didn't own. Harvest by Neil Young was just one staple I didn't own and I was happy to snag it for a buck! I've been really loving avant garde jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp. I wasn't entirely familiar with his discography so i grabbed a duet with Philly Joe Jones recorded in Europe. Two lengthy tracks that i didn't completely fall in love with, but it forced me to research a few of Shepp's albums that i probably should have grabbed when given the opportunity. Thankfully, Detroit has a neighborhood shop(People's is one of the best) with a helpful owner who will gladly save this for me!






Friday, April 15, 2011

Levon and Dave



Yea!

I've been waiting for this music documentary to be released nationally, but it seems that's a longshot for now. It was orginally screened at SXSW last year to some great reviews. My move to Baltimore will inch me closer to a midnight ramble in Woodstock, NY. I vow before 2012 to experience Levon Helm live.

Speaking of music documentaries, I just watched The Foo Fighters documentary, "Back and Forth." I have a solid and mostly nostalgic crush on Dave Grohl. Though I'm not a big fan of their music, there was a certain time, post Nirvana, that Dave Grohl really made an imprint on my generation. He's an insanely talented drummer with endless knowledge about music. He's a great interview-honest, witty and entirely endearing. I recommend it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Count Five - Pretty Big Mouth

hmmm, any possibility of this actually happening? a reunion show would be a sweet wish come true but these brothers love to not get along. who knows.


Man, it's a good day. even if my downstairs pipes are leaking and my landlord is "busy". 60s garage rockers Count Five make it all better.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chadbourne and Nakatani



Hey all.

I've been preoccupied the last few days (but i can't think at the moment exactly what the hell i've been doing!). I do remember this. Eugene Chadbourne and Tatsuya Nakatani come from two different worlds. One is a distinguished percussionist and the other is a skilled banjo player. One of the most organic, improvised musical events i've experienced in a long time. Nakatani used every aspect of the drum and incorporated bowls, a violin bow- literally, whatever object he desired. It was an intimate ode to sound and how we can experiment with it. It's truly without limit. It was also a first time visit to The Scarab Club- a place i've been wanting to visit for years. It couldn't have been a more perfect spot for this freeform evening.

Romantic and emotional and other times quirky and jovial. One of the best times I've had in the city. I will miss that about Detroit. I hope these same type of traveling musicians will make a stop in Baltimore.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Beat me outta me

I have to admit, I didn't know this song until long after Kurt Cobain's death. I'm not sure how i missed it (uhh, it was the b-side to smells like teen spirit). I must have been so focused on teen spirit that i completely ignored everything else, at least musically.

It is absolutely one of their best songs. The 90s were so good to us(except for the fashion).

Always missed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

how much for those?




This lady needs to get it together.

In other news, Elizabeth Taylor's love letters to her first love William Pawley are being sold. Really, love letters? I realize nothing is sacred anymore. That's been made painfully clear every time I hear a Beatles tune attached to laundry detergent or Marvin Gaye's face on a hennessey ad- But can we just keep certain things private, Mr. Pawley? He sold these at his own discretion and that's fine,but i wonder what kind of monetary value he put on them and why? How is it possible to peruse through dozens maybe hundreds of letters from someone you dearly loved and feel content with discarding them? I have many questions here.

Is it too much to ask that I want this retired older gentleman to keep them in a little box he stores in the attic and every year on the day they met, glance back at what they used to have?

I'm hopeful.

and i didn't forget about the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. I've been searching for a good video all day. stay tuned.

Monday, April 4, 2011

a little bit of funk.




The melding of funk and soul is a beautiful relationship. Though a funked up smooth ballad from the early 60s is a bit confusing on first listen. A smooth balladeer wants to tell his lady he loves her, but there's a compulsion to dance for that love too. All those elements combine to make these five tracks a little piece of soul/funk heaven. Not to mention they are all inspired by James Brown. Trust me, these tracks will do so much more than make you move.

"Tell her". dammit, that's soul.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 1984

distant lover...come back.

It's been a long time since Marvin Gaye has been gone. 27 years, to be exact. He is the main reason I began exploring and loving soul music and i think that sentiment is shared with many people. I thank him for that. I began comparing every singer I heard thereafter to him. The pitch, the emotion, the lyrics- No one had it the way Marvin did. When he sang, he meant it. He wanted lovers to come back, desired the woman he couldn't keep and the world to listen to his troubled mind.

Unfortunate, tragic, mind blowing. All in all, he left too soon.

one of my personal favorites.